Ho-Hum IPTV is Software Dev Opportunity

Internet protocol television is the it’s-good-to-be-boring story of CES 2009. Everyone (or nearly so), from Netgear to Sony, integrates some kind of IPTV functionality in their consumer product lines. It’s going from being a distinct and geeky category to just being a standard feature of mainstream television products.

It’s good news for software developers and component manufacturers. Drive manufacturers, to pick one example, have an opportunity to sell their products into television sets, more set top boxes (not just DVRs), and home media centers.

There’s a window of opportunity opening briefly for software developers. No one has completely solved the twin problems of navigating and storing content. Boxee offers an open source users interface. It could turn into a common development platform, but only because it’s open source.

Storage isn’t a technical problem. Hard drives are big and cheap, and solid state drives are rapidly heading in that direction. The problem is finding and accessing your stuff, once you’ve downloaded it to one device and you want to access it on another.